Literary Award

Public Lecture Program

Saturday, November 13th
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. High School

To keep yourself and those around you safe, please keep your mask on at all times and practice social distancing.

Proudly Sponsored By

Carol & Bobby Frist


Literary Award Weekend Sponsored By

Special Thank You
Martin Luther King Jr. High School
Southern Word
Dr. La Tanya Rogers and the following students from The W.E.B. DuBois General University Honors Program at Fisk University
Elizabeth Daniels, Anthony Jones, Cameron Jones, Kalon Jones,
Kaden LeGrande, Precious Oseghale, Kai Parker, Charles Patterson,
Jarrett R. Shelby, & Mekhi Yant

Welcoming Remarks 
Shawn Bakker | President, Nashville Public Library Foundation
Denine Torr | Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Dollar General

Showcasing Our Teens
Studio NPL & Southern Word
McKenzi Milleson | Southern Word Poetry Contest Winner

Public Lecture
Colson Whitehead

Q&A
Colson Whitehead
Nashville Reads Teen Essay Contest Winners

Closing Remarks 
Kent Oliver| Director, Nashville Public Library

Nashville Reads Writing Contest Winners

Seniors
First Place

Kendall Robertson | Martin Luther King Jr. High School
Second Place
Muslia Jemal | Hume Fogg High School
Third Place
Cody McDaniel | John Overton High School

Juniors
First Place

Elizabeth Diana Knight | Home School
Second Place
Ya’Asantewa Tafari | Home School
Third Place
Aaliyah Howard | Cane Ridge High School

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About Our Honoree

This year, we are proud to honor Colson Whitehead. Whitehead is the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning, National Book Award winning, and New York Times bestselling author of The Nickel Boys, The Underground Railroad (now a televised miniseries on Amazon,)The Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntiutionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays. Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications and he’s taught at multiple post secondary institutions including Columbia University and Princeton University.

About the Public Lecture

Established in 2004, the Nashville Public Library Literary Award recognizes distinguished authors for their illustrious contributions to the world of books, literacy, and reading. Each year, we bring an outstanding individual to Nashville for a weekend-long celebration to honor their achievements while simultaneously raising funds to support NPL and its essential education and literacy programs and resources. The free Public Lecture offers the opportunity for the entire community to come together in celebration.